NLC backs Senate on extension of new Naira policy

By Helen Shok Jok. Abuja

0 1,580

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says it stands with the Senate on the call to review the deadline which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has fixed to phase out old naira notes in the country.

The Nigerian Parliament on Tuesday, appealed to the CBN to extend by six months its policy on the introduction of the redesigned national currency the ‘Naira’, which will see the withdrawal of the old currency from circulation on the 31st of January 2023.

In an interactive session with members of the Labour Correspondent Association of Nigeria (LACAN), in Abuja on Thursday, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said that phasing out the old notes within the time frame given by the Central Bank of Nigeria will not only be unrealistic but will also cause avoidable panic and pains to Nigerians.

He said that though the apex bank had given 31st of January as deadline to withdraw the old notes, commercial Banks, ATMs and other financial outlets are still giving out and dispensing old notes less than seven days to the deadline.

“I remember I went to about ten Banks and none of them was dispensing the new notes”.

He said that the new notes are neither available or in circulation, yet the old notes are already being rejected adding that even in the city centres, Banks are still dispensing old notes and wondered what the situation will be in rural areas.

“We have tried to respond officially by writing to the CBN governor. We also wrote to the President to say that this new policy of changing our Naira needs to be revisited”, Wabba said.

According to the NLC President, majority of Nigerians who live in remote areas where banks do not exist are yet to access the new notes.

“If you go to the rural areas and see the chaotic nature of how people have come with their money to change, it has become a problem.

“The State I come from, you have only three Banks in three local governments out of twenty-seven local governments, all the other local governments, twenty-four of them do not have Banks and some of them are not accessible.

“It is the poor masses and even the working class that will feel the pinch of this policy because how will you not withdraw the old currency when the new one is not available; the day they made that pronouncement, what they should have done is to flood everywhere with the new naira notes, he lamented.

While calling on the federal government to rethink the policy to alleviate the sufferings, the NLC President said that people are already being “pushed to the wall” over the issue.

He said in other climes when currencies are changed, the old currencies are spent alongside the new one until it ends up in the bank and will not come into circulation again.

The NLC said that as good as the policy is, its implementation is making people see it as punishment.

“We align ourselves fully with the position of the Senate because we go to the rural areas, we have workers in the rural areas where many of our local governments that don’t have banking facilities are located.

“So basically, we call for this policy to be reviewed and to give extension so that all the old notes can then be mopped up by the banks”, Wabba said.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has insisted that there will be no going back on the set date already given for the policy to take effect.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.